NTPC will be setting up solar power projects of 50 MW capacity with Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at different locations at Port Blair in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between NTPC, the Andaman & Nicobar Administration and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) on Friday. This is part of NTPC's green commitment to the Government of India, an official said.
This is the second such effort for the islands this year. In August, NLC India Ltd invited Expressions of Interest to set up a 20 MW (AC) grid interactive PV solar power project integrated with BESS at Attampahad in Port Blair. Presently, the electricity needs of the Andamans & Nicobar Islands are met by 42 power houses. Some of these are hydro-electric power plants while the remaining generate electricity from solar energy. Due to the geographical and topographical peculiarities of the archipelago, including separation by sea over great distances, there is no single power grid for all the electrified islands. A power house caters independently to the power requirements of an area.
"Before Independence, a small steam driven reciprocating DG generator of 100 KW capacity was installed by the British at Ross Island in 1926. Direct current DG sets of 100 KW capacity were installed at Port Blair in 1929. After Independence, in 1951, two steam turbine generating sets of 550 KW each were established at the power house on Chatham Island. The boilers were operated on wood fuel and saw dust, which were the waste products of Chatham Saw Mill. They later switched over to mangrove wood which was used as fuel. This was the start of the alternating current power supply at Port Blair," an electricity department official from the A&N Islands said.
Friday's MoU was signed by Subhash Muley, ED (Nuclear and Renewable Energy), NTPC, Sanjeev Khirwar, Commissioner cum Secretary (Power), A&N Administration and V K Jain, Adviser MNRE in the presence of Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, MNRE, Gurdeep Singh, CMD, NTPC, A K Jha, Director(Technical) and other senior officials from MNRE and NTPC. "The power generated from these solar plants shall contribute towards increased renewable energy deployment and greening of the A&N Islands," an NTPC official said.